Are Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes' exes dating each other? Why that's not as shocking as you might think.

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Former "GMA3" co-anchors Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes are together and in love – but are their exes, too?

Robach and Holmes famously lost their jobs last year after a reported affair between the pair – married to different people at the time – elicited scandalous, salacious headlines. Holmes split from wife Marilee Fiebig, and Robach from husband Andrew Shue.

Now, rumors are circulating that Fiebig and Shue are a couple, too, and found solace in each other amid the public turmoil. "I love a petty move on," one X (formerly Twitter) user wrote. Another added, "The streets are saying that Amy Robach & TJ Holmes’s exes are dating this is TV soap opera levels type of mess." USA TODAY has reached out to Robach, Holmes, Fiebig and Shue for comment.

This isn't an uncommon phenomenon, as shared trauma creates a fertile breeding ground for connection. As always, though, keep consequences in mind if the relationship ultimately causes more harm than good.

"Issues arise when the choice of partner is reactive, meaning it is in direct response to a challenging experience and it creates additional pain for those involved and the people around them," says Laura Petiford, a licensed marriage and family therapist.

Former "GMA3" co-anchors Amy Robach and TJ Holmes are together and in love – but are their exes, too?
Former "GMA3" co-anchors Amy Robach and TJ Holmes are together and in love – but are their exes, too?

'Nothing inherently wrong'

High-profile relationships after major life changes have happened before – look no further than Hunter Biden and sister-in-law Hallie, who was married to Hunter's late brother, Beau.

Hallie and Biden connected – romantically – in the wake of Beau's death, between their grief and Biden's addiction. His then-wife, Kathleen, discovered texts between them on an old iPad. "That gave her the gift of justification: I was the sicko sleeping with my brother's wife," he wrote in his 2021 memoir.

"Trauma affects us in both conscious and unconscious ways," says Alice Shepard, clinical psychologist and the owner of Mirielle Therapy Practice. "It is a relief when we find others who can help us make sense of our experiences without fully needing to express them in words. We love our partners because of our shared life experiences. They have seen us at our worst, stayed with us through the most challenging times, and are kinder to us in these critical moments than we can even be to ourselves."

Biden wrote that once he and Hallie tried living together, it didn't work.

"It was a giant miscalculation on both our parts, errors in judgment born of a uniquely tragic time," he wrote. And later, when they tried to rekindle their romance after he got sober in January 2018, it didn't work. "It felt like a failure of epic proportions."

A failure, maybe, but not one unheard of: "People have a tendency to reach to that which is available when experiencing pain," Petiford adds. "There is nothing inherently wrong with seeking comfort in the context of a relationship during a difficult time. This is part of the support that intimate relationships, friendships and families provide to each other."

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'Important to be aware of our choices'

What moving through a painful situation looks like for one person may look different for someone else.

"We need to give ourselves and others permission to grieve and manage painful life experiences by comforting ourselves, and it's also important to be aware of our choices and how they are impacting other areas of our lives and those around us," Petiford says. "The choice may not change but the process of being intentional is important."

The dust eventually settles after a trauma – and it may not look like the immediate aftermath.

"When people are in crisis, they are overwhelmed and may be unable to assess their true feelings," Shepard adds. "However, the opposite can also be true. In times of crisis, superficial ideas and ideals can fall away, and one can experience greater clarity about what qualities and values matter the most to them."

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Amy Robach, T.J. Holmes' exes dating? The rumors aren't that shocking.